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We may not think of our nose when we go to sleep. But what we smell can play a big role in how well we sleep. Instead of going to bed, think of going to your sleep environment. A sanctuary, a place for sleeping; not a place for doing other things and coincidentally falling asleep. You have your bed, pillow, pajamas, maybe even some white noise or ocean waves playing in the background. But where’s that olfactory stimulation? Using some of the best essential oils for sleep can help you add yet another layer to your sanctuary.
If you feel like your sleep just isn’t perfect yet, a calming aroma could be what you’ve been missing. Essential oils are natural, nontoxic products, that have been used for years to improve sleep. While they are most commonly relied on for smell, these oils can improve your sleep in various ways. If you’ve never heard of essential oils or how to use them, continue reading. You will quickly learn what the best essential oils for sleep are and how you can transform your sleep environment.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are just that; essential for plants to exist and to protect them in the environment. Now, as of recently they have been found to be essentially outstanding for human life as well. Essential oils occur naturally in plants, they are organic, and have a high vapor pressure. The oils are harvested in one of two ways: steam distillation or cold-pressing for citrus fruits.
Essential oils come from all parts of the plant including the roots, stems, leaves, bark, fruit, flowers, and rinds; not one part of the plant is wasted. Essential oils may be blowing up your social media feed now, but they are not new to the game. Essential oils have been used for several years in common products such as Coca-Cola and Vick’s VapoRub to name a few.
How can essential oils help with sleep?
Your nose is stronger than you think, and so is scent memory. Essential oils are the natural sleep aid you need to take your sleep down memory lane night after night. They create not only a pleasant smell but a restful, relaxed state as well. This can help you create a calm and peaceful environment, which ultimately trains your brain to associate this with sleep. Essential oils support a ‘sleep routine’, and whether or not you have one established already, the fact is: sleep routines make a big difference.
Oils or not, any doctor or proven expert will tell you that a normal sleep routine helps you to be more focused, healthier, and feel better and more energized during the day. That’s where oils come in. Incorporating oils into your nighttime routine can help you fall asleep faster and get more quality sleep, so that you can give more you in the morning.
Essential oils are also preferred over other sleeping aids because they are all natural. This means they come without harmful side effects or serious health risks. In addition to being risk-free, essential oils are also known as adaptogens. Adaptogens adapt to the person who is using them. One example is vertiver oil, which is known to relieve insomnia in some people, while making others feel refreshed and alert. Although some oils may be adaptable, it is important to note that not all oils are intended for sleep aids. Some such as lemongrass, citrus fresh, or tangerine are meant to energize, and will consistently do so. Do not use these for sleep.
Essential Oil Categories:
There are two main categories for essential oils that work best for sleep: oils that can reduce insomnia, and oils that alleviate snoring and sleep apnea. The first category of oils, oils for insomnia, help by calming the mind and reducing anxiety. The second category of oils, for snoring and sleep apnea, help by opening up the airways (Peppermint oil especially).
While these oils have been repeatedly shown to have these effects, remember- life can and will get in the way. Life, school, work, kids, finances; all of these things may keep you up at night and while essential oils may not be able to complete block them out, they can arm you with the tools and relaxation needed to worry less and sleep more. Regardless of age, race, color, or size, essential oils can transform your sleep. Let them become a part of your nightly routine and in fact you can teach an old dog new tricks.
How to use essential oils for sleep?
There is much more to essential oils than meets the eye, and there are multiple ways to use them to get a good night’s rest. One of the most common and relaxing ways to use essential oils for sleep is to dilute essential oils in water using a diffuser. It is also common to massage a few drops into the body such as on the hands, neck, wrists, or feet. This is an extremely effective method since oils can permeate the skin and even enter your bloodstream.
If you like the diffuser in the picture, get yours for only $22.99 at Amazon.com.
However if you have sensitive skin, allergies, or for children, especially younger than 6 months of age, essential oils should not be used topically. Another option is to create a “home” or “sleepy time” spray. Using a blend of calming essential oils, you can create a homemade spray to spray over your pillow or on your pajamas as a grounding, calming fragrance to transition you from work to relaxation.
Or you can always purchase one that is already made too. Get my favorite room, pillow and linen spray, Eunoia Naturals RELAX Lavender & Chamomile Aromatherapy Mist at Amazon.com.
You may also mix essential oils with Espom salt or baking soda in a warm bath, or add a few drops to boiling water and then place a towel over your head to create a tent; known as facial steaming. Regardless of which method you use, essential oils are sure to ease you into the most restful night’s sleep.
Where to buy essential oils?
Essential oils are not hard to find. You can purchase them at most large retailers, pharmacies, health food stores, and of course, online. There are several brands of essential oils, but don’t be fooled; not all essential oils are essential. That is, you should only buy oils that are advertised as “pure” or 100%, and that have their Latin name on the label. If the label says “fragrance oil” or similar, they most likely use other synthetic ingredients.
Although they may smell nice, these are not the oils you want. These ‘knock-offs’ will not provide the same sleeping benefits you are looking for, and will most likely irritate your skin. The top of the line oils will say “organic” or “therapeutic grade” directly on the label. These will provide you with the benefits described above, and leave out any harmful toxins or chemicals. If you want to do good for your sleep, make sure you’re doing the most good, by buying the real essential oils.
Where I bought my essential oils:
When I started my essential oil journey I decided to start by getting a kit of oils that offered 18 various 100% pure therapeutic grade oils. This gave a great variety and really allowed me to explore making my a variety of combinations. It was almost fun to see which ones worked the best. The only drawback is that this kit doesn’t have all the oils that are best for sleep, but you can easily fill in the gaps buying other ones individually. I have some of my favorites below!
I also found a diffuser that was affordable, compact and subtle too. And was easy to move to any room I wanted to diffuse in. Easily enough, I found both through Amazon too. For the essential oils I would recommend the Radha Beauty Top 18 Oils and for the diffuser the URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser is awesome!
The best essential oils for sleep
Once you’ve purchased the best essential oils, it’s time for your best night’s sleep. Especially if you are using them on children, it is strongly urged to buy the best quality essential oils, other than that, the list of essential oils used for sleep is endless. From individual oils to blends, since essential oils are based on chemistry, the possibilities are endless.
You may also find aromatherapy products that use a combination of these oils to help induce sleepiness. These products are useful and recommended. Or you may choose to create your own blend making it completely what you decide and individualized. One thing to remember is to change-up your ‘sleepytime’ oils every so often, to avoid desensitization. Any and all sleepytime essential oils reduce insomnia and increase sleep. Some of the most common essential oils for sleep are:
If you’ve ever heard of essential oils being used for sleep, odds are you heard of lavender. Lavender is hands down, the #1 oil used for sleep and the #1 oil backed by research. Lavender is used to calm everything, even if it’s not during sleep; studies have shown its effects on individuals with high stress/ anxiety when it comes to special needs/ disabilities. The way lavender works is that it calms all the processes that take place as your body is transitioning to sleep.
This includes calming the nervous system by lowering blood pressure, decreasing your heart rate, and lowering your skin temperature. Lavender even has the power to literally change your brain waves so that you are no longer bothered by insomnia or thoughts that keep you awake. Finally, as if that’s not enough, lavender is even recommended as an alternative treatment for women with postpartum depression. Good enough reasons to use lavender? We think so.
Start your essential oil journey and shop for your certified organic Lavender oil at Amazon.com.
Valerian is also sometimes known as the “strength” or “bravery” oil, since it literally takes away all your troubles. For this reason, valerian is often taken as a sleep aid supplement, and is a typical ingredient in sleepytime teas and herbal remedies. Valerian is yet another essential oil that is frequently cited in research, so you know you’re using a product that is supported by science and not just hype. It is so effective because it contains valerenic acid, extracted from the root, that produces a sedative effect.
Valerian may not break down your nervous system like lavender does, or be the face of sleepiness like chamomile, but it does improve the overall quality of your sleep. The essential oil is available in a variety of sizes, from 10mL to 60mL ranging from $20 to $50. You may experience some slight ‘sticker shock’ when it comes to buying essential oils, but the quality of the oil and the way it transforms your sleep is priceless.
Does Valerian sound like an ideal essential oil for you? Shop for yours now at Amazon.com.
Clary sage just sounds dreamy doesn’t it? Keep in mind that clary sage is slightly different than just sage, and you’ll be thankful for it. Clary sage has the sleepytime benefits, while regular sage does not. It is interesting the uses that clary sage has been studied for; such as for menopausal women, and those undergoing urodynamic evaluation. For women during menopause and with menopausal symptoms, clary sage has demonstrated antidepressant effects.
For individuals undergoing urodynamic evaluation (bladder and urinary function), clary sage has lowered blood sugar related to stress. In fact, clary sage significantly lowered blood sugar compared to carrier oils (almond oil) which was the control. If you’ve never tried essential oils for sleep, clary sage may just be the oil that puts you over the edge. It is strong, yet soothing enough, and the sleep benefits will instantly make you a believer. At a lower price than valerian (typically around $12) you definitely want your hands on some clary sage.
Maybe Clary Sage is the scent that will prove to be your favorite? Shop for yours now at Amazon.com.
Marjoram definitely sounds like it belongs in the kitchen, and definitely in some real, sweet foods. This may be exactly why sweet marjoram is preferred over all other types of marjoram essential oils. Sweet marjoram will have the most benefits for sleep, especially insomnia. It’s no surprise that sweet marjoram essential oil also helps muscle and joint pain. This just leads to an all around peaceful state from head to toe. Sweet marjoram maybe be the least heard of, but many claim that it packs the most punch.
So, if you only rarely lose sleep, try lavender or chamomile first, but if you are a constant insomniac, sweet marjoram should definitely do the trick. One of the most common ways to use sweet marjoram is by placing a few drops on your pillow before bed and inhaling slowly. Your breathing will slow, your thoughts will become quiet, you will become drowsy, and before you know it, it will be morning.
Start feeling the benefits of the organic and therapeutic grade power of Marjoram essential oil with this one on Amazon.com.
If there ever was a poster-child for sleepytime essential oils, most people would assume it would be chamomile, specifically Roman Chamomile. If you are unfamiliar with chamomile, Roman Chamomile is the one to use and has the most benefits for sleep. This light and floral fragrance has been used for relaxation and aromatherapy for thousands of years. Chamomile reduces insomnia and anxiety, and may even decrease the occurrence and content of nightmares.
This essential oil is most often taken in the form of chamomile tea, especially because combining this dreamy, floral fragrance with a warm and comforting tea is the ultimate sleepy combo. Chamomile is even gentle enough for use on babies, and is a key ingredient in several baby products, and a commonly recommended, natural alternative, for sleepless babies. Even before essential oils were popular, chamomile as an herbal remedy was often used, which is why this old-timer oil, makes a great introduction for newcomers.
It is great in tea so why not try it in your diffuser. Buy your Chamomile essential oil at Amazon.com.
Once you use bergamot, you’re definitely a part of the essential oil fan club. Bergamot is a citrus oil and a key ingredient in Earl Grey tea, which is no surprise why it lifts the mood and creates a worry-free attitude. This oil got its start in Italian folk medicine. And unlike other citrus oils, it calms instead of energizes. Bergamot has physiological effects to induce sleeping such as reduced heart rate and blood pressure.
It also has psychological effects by reducing the thoughts and feelings of stress, anxiety, and self-doubt that would typically keep you up at night. The only thing bergamot can’t do is be used topically on you skin. This is because bergamot is photosensitive and makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, thus it should not be used when going outside. Bergamot is a unique essential oil, and it’s endless benefits are sure to give you your best night’s sleep.
Buy my personal favorite essential oil fragrance, Bergamot through Amazon.com.
Ylang Ylang is the silent wonder of essential oils. It is a fruity oil that comes from a tree native to Southeast Asia. Like many of the oils listed above, ylang ylang has calming effects on the nervous system. Ylang ylang oil slows the heart rate and reduces blood pressure. Slowing these processes is the key to falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer. This is helpful for individuals with sleep problems and depression.
Studies show that while less common, ylang ylang is right up there with lavender and bergamot essential oils and individuals who use them experience overall less stress and anxiety. Ylang ylang is fairly inexpensive compared to other essential oils, ranging from only $10 to $30 for 10 mL to 60 mL. This oil is best used alone or in blends with other sleepytime oils.
Drift off to dream with the soothing scent of Ylang Ylang. Quickly get yours through Amazon.com.
Sandalwood is an essential oil lover’s go-to. You can tell even just by the name that sandalwood is a dreamy, woody, fragrance that makes the user feel calm and grounded. This allows them to calm the mind and easily fall asleep. Sandalwood is also considered a great mood balancer. The only downside to sandalwood is that it is one of the most expensive essential oils, typically ranging from $20 to $50. Sandalwood is so expensive due to its high demand, but very low supply.
If you would appreciate the grounding scent of Sandalwood than add this to your essential oil blend. Get it today at Amazon.com.
Cedarwood is similar to sandalwood in that the woody fragrance gives the user a sense of feeling grounded and calm. Making Cedarwood a great alternative to sandalwood because it is less expensive with the same benefits. For every sleepytime blend you make, you definitely want to include cedarwood; it pairs well with everything, especially bergamot and is the ultimate relaxation oil. Cedarwood works by increasing the production of seratonin in the body which elevates your mood.
The essential oil also has natural sedative properties. This helps relieve stress and anxiety, and is useful for calming your emotions; hence making you feel grounded. You can purchase cedarwood in 10mL to 60mL bottles ranging from only $7 to $20; a big difference from its sandalwood cousin.
If you want a grounded fragrance that is more affordable check out this Cedarwood oil at Amazon.com.
Best Essential Oils for Sleep Summary:
We bet you never knew how essential essential oils could be to your sleep, but now you know. As a natural, risk-free, harmless solution to getting your best night’s sleep- why wouldn’t you try them? Essential oils are the individual remedy that works for everyone. Whether you diffuse, use topically, or drop a little in your tea, these little oils have grand effects.
Whether you prefer lavender, bergamot, cedarwood, or ylang ylang, make a blend that works best for you. Since the drops of oil are so small, and a little goes a long way, with essential oils, you have the tools needed to create restful sleep night after night. Even if you’re just now hearing of essential oils, these herbs and plants have been used for centuries; so you know they work. If you’ve been dreaming of a great night’s sleep, essential oils can be your dream come true.
Still have questions about how essential oils for sleep will work for you? We’d be happy to help answer any questions, just Contact Us!
Check out this article if you want general tips for better sleep